Mallet Swap 2014

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Project by Hammerthumb posted 07-01-2014 10:12 PM 2435 views 5 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This mallet was made for LJ buddie PAJA for the 2014 mallet swap. And here is the letter I included with the mallet:

Mallet Swap 2014

Paul – aka PAJA,

Here is the mallet that I made for you. I hope you enjoy it. The mallet is made from some old French White Oak flooring that I had lying around for a few years. It was a rustic grade but I selected the pieces carefully to avoid knots.
The mallet head is laminated from several pieces. I think this makes for a stronger assembly and should not split in use. I did not use a traditional method of wedges for attachment of the head. It is very difficult to describe as I have actually made some dovetail shapes at the top of the handle that keep the head and handle from moving. I had great concern about wood movement as I live in the desert and the moisture content of the wood is below 5%. If the wood expands a little, it should only make the head tighter on the handle, but allows for movement only towards the top of the mallet. I left the protrusion of the handle at the top of the head at approximately 3/16” and any wood movement should not exceed this dimension. I will post pictures of the assembly process after the swap opening so you have a better idea of what is inside the mallet. I also used some brass pins to help keep the laminations together, and for added weight. I used urethane glue for assembly as I think the foaming action of the adhesive provides some cushion for shock absorption and will not de-laminate due to impact.
I faceted the edges to reduce the chance of an off hit damaging any edges. I think that it also adds to the looks of the mallet.
This mallet is a nice size and can be used for heavy chopping of mortises, as well as light tapping. I turned, and then hand shaped the handle. It fits comfortably in my hand, and the weight and balance feels good.
I elected to keep this mallet simple and functional (after all, it’s just a mallet). I hope it gives you many years of rugged service

I hope you don’t mind that I stamped the bottom of the mallet with HT for HammerThumb. At least you will always be able to remember where it came from.

Good luck and happy wood working.

Paul Williams

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

15 comments so far

View CL810's profile


4157 posts in 4151 days

#1 posted 07-01-2014 11:03 PM

WOW! Are you taking orders??

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View Hammerthumb's profile


3098 posts in 3138 days

#2 posted 07-01-2014 11:11 PM

Ha Andy ;-) Just another mallet. Decided to keep it basic with one wood species. The handle is kind of cool though. I worry about wood movement with it being so dry here. Though I would try something different. Thanks.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View 489tad's profile


4021 posts in 4174 days

#3 posted 07-01-2014 11:19 PM

Paul I like how you put that together. Great looking mallet. Obey the head stays put.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Sanding2day's profile


1016 posts in 3009 days

#4 posted 07-01-2014 11:20 PM

That is awesome Hammer… Fairly sure I have not ever seen that method of joinery for head to handle. Looks like it will stay put for sure!!! Thanks for sharing, you have made a very nice, rock solid mallet…

-- Dan

View Mr. E's profile

Mr. E

108 posts in 2830 days

#5 posted 07-01-2014 11:22 PM

Now I know why it would be hard to explain that joint! That’s so cool. I’ve been on an oak kick lately so this will fit right in. Don’t mind the initials at all. I love it when people mark their work!

The brass pins are a great touch too. This is definitely built to last! Thanks again!

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

4049 posts in 3414 days

#6 posted 07-01-2014 11:26 PM

Well done, HT! The corners on the mallet head look superb. How much does the finished mallet weigh?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View 7Footer's profile


2575 posts in 3111 days

#7 posted 07-01-2014 11:47 PM

Love it H-Thumb! Super cool joinery, a fine job. Did you cut the tenon-ish joint on your TS?


View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4310 days

#8 posted 07-02-2014 12:17 AM

Nice looking mallet!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3761 days

#9 posted 07-02-2014 12:27 AM

Beautiful, and complex looking beat down stick.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30631 posts in 3501 days

#10 posted 07-02-2014 12:50 AM

Anyone would be proud to have it. Great job.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Hammerthumb's profile


3098 posts in 3138 days

#11 posted 07-02-2014 01:34 AM

Thanks everyone!

7 – I cut the shape of the handle with the bandsaw, handsaws, and cleaned it up with chisels. Same with the corresponding head pieces. I drilled the holes in one of the side pieces and used it as a template for the middle and other side to keep the holes for the brass pins aligned. Then it was temporarily assembled for the edge facets using dowels. I used a new LN LAJ for the facets. Then final assembly with the handle and brass pins.

I had made another and Terry asked if I could send it to Gshepard. I hope he received it as I have not seen him post for a while.

Thanks again everyone.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View AnthonyReed's profile


10177 posts in 3603 days

#12 posted 07-02-2014 03:17 PM

That is a beast Paul. Form and function. Formidable looking whacker.
Very nice work.

-- ~Tony

View lysdexic's profile


5349 posts in 3786 days

#13 posted 07-03-2014 02:05 AM

I like that mallet

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View GMatheson's profile


478 posts in 4132 days

#14 posted 07-03-2014 02:25 AM

Crazy joinery. I like it. Great job Paul.

-- Greg in Ontario, Canada

View Woodknack's profile


13565 posts in 3543 days

#15 posted 07-04-2014 05:33 AM

Swanky and simple = elegant!

-- Rick M,

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